Short How to Guide: Job Hunting Tips The purpose of this guide is to provide you with some support in your job hunting process and to encourage you to take a proactive approach to tracking down the best opportunities. THINGS TO THINK ABOUT: Start with analysing your strengths, skills, interest and only then move to research sectors and gather loads of information around your chosen sector Then think on your approach tactics: who, how, when: 1. Networking 2. Agencies 3. Adverts 4. Speculative Review and start again Be organised, systematic, and persistent. Also use any support available and ask for help. So first things first: self-assess and consider what skills you have to offer? What is your unique selling point? This is the characteristic that sets you apart from others and makes you a strong candidate. Then gather lots of information about your target sector. Do the employers advertise and, if so, where? Do they use recruitment agencies? Which ones? What selection methods do they use? What things do they look for in applications? In addition, the more you know about a particular job and its sector, the easier it is to convince a recruiter that you have the right qualities, qualifications or experience. You can find out more from: AGCAS occupational profiles - as well as giving brief summaries of over 400 occupations, these sheets also identify specific places to look for relevant vacancies www.prospects.ac.uk/links/occupations JOB HUNTING METHODS: To be an effective job hunter you need to choose around 4 different methods of job hunting to increase your chances of success. 1 For instance, you could join a couple of temp agencies, volunteer one day a week in an organisation related to your chosen careers area, ensure that once a week you attend professional networking evening to gather sector information, and finally you could also send a speculative CV to your favourite companies. Trying different methods is a proven way of increasing your chances of success. 1. NETWORKING One of the keys to this is building a network of contacts both as a source of information about the career that you are interested in, and as a way to get yourself known by people who may be able to help you. Try not to leave this too late, it is very hard to build a network when you and starting to get desperate for a job! 1 See Richard Nelson Bolles, What Colour is Your Parachute especially chapter one where he talks about over 16 different job hunting methods. First, try to identify people you already have some link with who may be useful, or who could lead you to someone useful. Make a list of everyone you know: friends, family, colleagues, fellow students, former employers, tutors, people on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Let them know the type of work you are interested in and ask if they know anyone with knowledge of that area. If none of these options generate results it is often possible to find lists of companies working within a sector. You can then approach them directly by ‘cold calling’. Such lists can be found in a number of ways. General business directories, such as Yellow Pages or KOMPASS. Specialist directories, such as Willings Press Guide, Voluntary Agencies Directory. Many of these are produced by relevant professional or trade associations. The Directory of British Associations or the Trade Association Forum website www.taforum.org may help you to identify the appropriate organisation. Remember you are creating a network of professionals to give you information. Approach people to arrange informal meetings to find out about their jobs and careers. In general, people respond positively to such requests, especially if you are only asking for information and advice and not a job (at this stage). Even if you are still unsure about the right job for you, information interviewing can help you decide if you really would enjoy this type of work. 2. AGENCIES Many people believe that recruitment agencies are an easy option for job hunting, however like anything else when job hunting you get back the effort you put in. They can be a useful additional job hunting method but, to increase your chances of obtaining meaningful work experience, you will have to put in a lot of effort. Research the agencies - Research a few, shop around to find the agency that best fits your needs, ask them for details of employers they work with, application tips etc. Look for accredited recruitment agencies or consultancies that specialise in the career area you wish to work in. REC is the umbrella organisation for accredited recruitment agencies, search their directory of members. All recruitment agencies that will be on campus next week are REC accredited. Give recruitment consultants an up to date CV – Make sure you get your checked and proof read by a professional. If you do not have a CV ready go to our interactive CV Builder to create a CV for yourself. Click on “GET Resources for Current Students” and log-in at http://www.gre.ac.uk/current/careers/resources 2 Make a good impression e.g. be friendly, dress smartly and professionally. Prepare your conversations before hand, including good quality questions about their industry and remain professional at all times. Sign up to more than one recruitment agency as they may have different employer links. Make sure you let them know you are doing this, and keep a record. Keep them up to date of your contact details, change of circumstances or constraints as to what you can or can’t do. Try signing up at the following recruitment websites also: www.monster.co.uk; www.fish4jobs.co.uk 2 By the way you should not have to pay a fee or feel obligated to pay for ‘add-ons’ such as CV checking or interview preparation as a condition of being with a Recruitment Agency. If anything your Guidance & Employability Team (GET) can advise you on CVs as well as preparing effectively for assessment centres and interviews, all for free. Go to: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/current-students/employment-and-skills/get/contact and click on “drop-ins” to find out about our times and location. www.studentemploymentservices.co.uk; www.placement-uk.com www.e4s.co.uk; www.hotrecruit.co.uk; www.summerjobs4students.co.uk www.justjobs4students.co.uk; www.gapyearjobs.co.uk www.anyworkanywhere.com; www.freeradicals.co.uk 3. ADVERTS Directly answering advert vacancies is another way of job hunting, however remember that if you are answering adverts that are online or on national newspapers you will be competing with a lot of people! These are some of the places where you can find adverts, in: national, regional and local newspapers (e.g. The Guardian, The Independent) special job newspapers (e.g. Jobs UK, The Loot) specialist ‘trade’ journals (e.g. Computing, The Bookseller) your local high street or shopping centre –many jobs are advertised by a poster or card in the window local Job Centres -you can also search for jobs on their website www.direct.gov.uk click “find a job” to gain access to the job search engine General graduate online vacancies sites: www.prospects.ac.uk; www.targetjobs.co.uk; www.get.hobsons.co.uk; www.insidecareers.co.uk; www.milkround.com; www.wikijob.co.uk 4. SPECULATIVE Having identified relevant employers, you could just send off your CV in the hope that they have a position available. Such speculative applications can result in success. To increase your chances, your applications should be well-researched and targeted to that particular area. Resist the temptation to fire off hundreds of identical CVs and covering letters in the vague hope that something will happen. Often, a better approach is to make an informal contact first or go knocking on the employer’s door. REVIEWING YOUR STRATEGIES Job hunting requires persistence and determination but if you are not getting any results after a substantial period of time, you may want to review your strategy. This could mean: following up any contacts you may have –remember to keep networking! gaining experience by volunteering - even if you already have some experience this is also a way of expanding your network and skills acquiring or developing skills by taking a course –you need to ensure that you keep your skills up to date, especially technical skills taking a less responsible job which would enhance your chances of getting the job you want, so balance your short term and long term goals changing your CV and covering letter to make it more effective (based on advice from your contacts) FURTHER INFORMATION http://www.prospects.ac.uk/jobs_and_work_experience.htm the UK’s official graduate careers website full of useful further advice Job Hunting videos: http://www2.gre.ac.uk/current-students/employment-andskills/get/careers/resources/current/employer-videos The Guidance & Employability Team (GET) is the University's centralised service that assists all University of Greenwich students and recent graduates with their transition into graduate employment. Services include individual guidance, part-time and vacation work support, student volunteering and mentoring, access to employers, careers and postgraduate study information, and graduate skills training. You can find more information at www.gre.ac.uk/get.
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